researchhelp_1Keyword research is a long-standing practice that helps companies rank or appear in search engine results by assessing a certain term’s value. In doing so, the idea is that web pages can be optimized using certain terminology, and ultimately, appear in the first few pages of search engine results.

Essentially, each term or phrase that is used to search the web has a set of data attached to it, which is tracked by search engine companies such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

This data provides marketers with valuable information, like the amount of times that a word or phrase is searched each month and/or the amount of competition associated with the term for example.

When used correctly, there is no doubt that keyword research is beneficial for brands. However, keyword research is truly easier said than done, especially with constant change throughout the industry, advancement in technology, and an ever-evolving market. Quite frankly, it can be EXHAUSTING!

So, as promised, here’s a list of 25 things that have personally yielded an eye twitch or two. Here goes!

1) Google (and now Yahoo) no longer provides the exact data for search queries used to find your website.

2) Geographic location only goes as far as limiting to country, not state or area. Because I’m sure that the vocabulary in California is wicked similar to that of New England, ayuh?

3) When you’re looking at the same word over and over again, it starts to look weird and sound wrong, and then you begin wondering whether you typed in the right thing in the first place.

4) When the plural form (which would fit into your title much better), has a much lower search volume than the non-plural version.

5) When you type in a term that you truly believe everyone uses, only to find out that it has “0” monthly searches. Then you start wondering if you’re the weird one.

6) You realize after 10 minutes of keyword research that you have 15 excel documents open.

7) You found a really great key term with the perfect amount of competition and search volume, only to find that it’s the name of a brand or product that dominates the first page of Google.

8) This is now how your brain works:


Image Credit: The Next Web

9) When you look at your company’s keyword data and realize just how bad your viewers are at spelling.

10) You’re finally ranking for a really tough key term and you find out that the wrong page is ranking.

11) When a page is driving a ton of traffic, and you’re not sure what the search term is that’s driving great results.

12) When you’re looking for a different variation of a term, and the keyword tool shoots out a list of terms that have nothing to do with what you typed in. Guess it’s back to the drawing board!

13) When someone asks about how keywords work, and you automatically whip out the athletic footwear example without even thinking twice about it.

14) This:


15) When your client doesn’t latch on to the concept of long-tail keywords.

16) you-start-typing-a-sentence-like-this

17) Or, this: “Drinks after work | Oak 45 | Wednesday”

18) Google’s keyword planner goes down for maintenance (WHAT!?)

19) You start to type your ideal keyword into your research tool, and your competitor pops up as a suggestion.

20) When you’re going about your daily life, browsing the Internet, and you come across a blog post that is so clearly “stuffed” with keywords that you just can’t continue reading.

21) When you begin working with a client, and they say they’ve got keyword research covered. They had someone come up with a few terms in 2002, so you can just use that, can’t you?

22) Hearing a client say, “I typed ‘SEO’ into Google and we didn’t show up on the first page. Doesn’t that mean you’re not doing it correctly?”

23) When you’re asked to optimize a page for a certain keyword that doesn’t appear once throughout the content

24) Your keyword tool doesn’t use spell-check

25) SEO pick up lines. Some of my personal favorites:

"They say SEO is a numbers game… so can I have your number?"
"SERP ladies?"
"I just took a mental picture of you and gave it some really naughty ALT tags"

And, of course, a few things we LOVE about keyword research….

1) Your vocabulary cultivates, and you perpetually acknowledge that there are multifarious substitutes for respective vernacular. (Original sentence: Your vocabulary grows, and you realize that there are so many different ways to say various words).


Image Credit: Squidoo

2) You can get some really great editorial calendar inspiration from keyword research.

3) A keyword helps to ground web page copy and keep it focused on one subject.

4) The data provided before and after keyword research gives actual quantitative points for measurement.

5) Keyword research provides the perfect opportunity to revisit your personas, and really get to know your customer. You need to know what questions they have and what problems they are looking to solve, don’t you?

6) When it works, it really works!


Image Credit:

And there we have it! What do you think of keyword research? Please share your observations in the comments below - we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Originally published May 8, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated November 06 2023


SEO Keyword Research